Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) Executive Chef Mario Capone of Towne Stove and Spirits serves up some specials this Valentine’s Day, from 5pm-10pm.  To start off your romantic night, there is an Arugula & Hearts of Palm Salad ($16), complete with warm King Crab and blood orange vinaigrette. For the main course, try the Seared Ahi Tuna ($34), accompanied by gingered sweet potato, steamed bok choy and tart Yuzu. To end the evening on a sweet note, indulge in a Chocolate Milkshake ($16) for-two, with homemade marshmallows and linzer cookies.  For Reservations, please call: 617-247-0400.

2) Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Da Vinci Ristorante on Monday, February 14th, with a romantically themed 4-course Valentine’s Day menu using Champagne accents in each course. The 4-course Valentine’s Day menu will cost $59 and includes:

Arugula Salad (Baby arugula, blood orange, fennel and Champagne vinegar; finished with shaved ricotta)
Mozzarella Fritto (Fried mozzarella with plum tomato putanesca sauce)
Hard Shell lobster Raviolo (Served with crappie fish Champagne sauce)
Gnocchi Con Funghi (Homemade potato gnocchi served with funghi trifolati; finished with white truffle oil and bufala mozzarella)
Salmon (Pan seared with English peas cake and sautéed spinach; finished with Champagne sauce)
Grilled Baby Veal (Served with Italian couscous risotto and sautéed asparagus; finished with creamy peppercorn sauce)
Grilled Duck Breast (Purple potatoes mush and broccolini; finished with dark chocolate sauce)
Mixed Platter (Champagne Chocolate Gelato; Fried Raviolo stuffed with Nutella; Spice chocolate shot)

For those celebrating early, the Saturday evening before Valentine’s Day (February 12th) Chef Peppino will offer his regular menu in addition to the following selection of Champagne specials:
--Arugula Salad $12 (Baby arugula, blood orange, fennel and Champagne vinegar; finished with shaved ricotta)
--Salmon $29 (Pan seared with English peas cake and sautéed spinach; finished with Champagne sauce)
--Mixed Dessert Platter $16 (Champagne Chocolate Gelato; Fried Raviolo stuffed with Nutella; Spice chocolate shot)

To toast your loved one on this special evening, sip on Chocolate Kiss Martini, a blend of Godiva dark chocolate liquor, Grey Goose vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s, fresh strawberry puree, served with a decadent chocolate covered strawberry ($12); or the Peach Champagne Punch, a bubbly mixture of peaches, Champagne, 7UP, Grenadine, served with fresh raspberries, blueberries and an orange slice ($12).

3) For Valentine's Day, The Beehive in the South End will present “4 Days of Luv’n!,” a fest of Valentine’s Day inspired brunches & dinners accompanied by romantic live music and menu specials including: Roasted Scallop Nicoise Salad, Oysters-3-Ways, Spanish Paella for Two, and Porterhouse Steak with Truffle Butter just to name a few. Reservations are highly recommended, and can be made by calling 617-423-0069.

Performance Schedule:
Friday, February 11:
· Romantic Early Dinner Jazz Set with Sharon Sugar Jones: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Valentine's Day 4 Days of Luv'n featuring Melvin Sparks: 10:00PM - 2:00AM
Saturday, February 12:
· Saturday Jazz Romance Brunch with Rajdulari: 10:30AM - 3:00PM
· Romantic Early Jazz Set with Patrice Williamson 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Valentine's Day 4 Days of Luv'n featuring Marsha Lubin with Akashic Record: 10:00PM - 2:00AM
Sunday, February 13:
· Sunday Jazz Romance Brunch with Michelle Willson: 10:30AM - 3:00PM
· Valentine's Day 4 Days of Luv'n featuring Toni Lynn Washington: 8:00PM - 12:00AM
Monday, February 14:
· Romantic Early Jazz Set with Cece Kim: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Valentine's Day 4 Days of Luv'n: Heat up after a cool dinner Jazz set with a very special Valentine’s Day featuring Panayota: 9:00PM - 12:00AM.

4) The restaurants BiNA osteria, Bin 26 enoteca, and Lala Rokh will have special menus for Valentine's Day on Monday, February 14.
BiNA osteria
Four-Course Prix Fixe Menu, $85/person

Choice of:
Lobster Insalata (cauliflower sformato, bina pancetta and citronette)
Carne Crudo (organic chopped beef with pecorino zabaglione, quail egg and fricco)
PrimiChoice of:
Cappellaci (braised capon ravioli, organic egg, fried sage and parmigiano fonduta)
Tagliatelle (cockles, spicy cuttlefish and saffron cream)
Choice of:
Steamed Scottish Halibut (crispy artichoke insalata, sautéed spinach and salsa rossa)
Porcini Dusted Sirloin (wilted winter greens, brown butter roasted potatoes and red wine marrow sauce)
Chocolate Souffle for Two (raspberry sauce, malted vanilla gelato and crystallized mint)

Bin 26 enoteca
Three-Course Prix Fixe Menu, $60/person ($90 with wine pairings). A la carte selection also available.
Choice of:
Filet of Beef Tartar (truffle paste and mushrooms)
Pepper Crusted Tuna, Eggplant and Fennel Salad
Roasted Red and Golden Beet Salad (julienne of endive, balsamic vinaigrette)
Choice of:
Risotto (duck, parmigiano and strawberries)
Cacciucco (Ligurian fish stew with cod, shrimp, mussels and tomato)
Filet of Beef (crusted green peppercorn and cream, truffled mashed potatoes)
Fresh Berries with crème fraiche

Lala Rokh
Four-Course Prix Fixe Menu, $55/person. A la carte selection also available.

Choice of:
Meygo (grilled shrimp with lemon and butter sauce)
Borani-e Kado (roasted zucchini and tomato with garlic, topped with homemade yogurt)
Borani-e Gharch (medley of mushrooms with garlic over grilled corn bread, drizzled with yogurt)
Soup or Salad
Choice of:
Salad-e Makhlute (fresh baby mixed greens, tomato, cucumber and onion with garlic vinaigrette)
Soup-e Labu (pureed soup of beets topped with sour cream)
Choice of:
Abgusht (whole lamb shank braised with okra, string beans, chick peas and eggplant)
Ordak (grilled duck breast sliced and served with current reduction sauce and basmati rice)
Mahi-e rooz (broiled red sea bass filled with fresh herbs and fruit, with bulgur wheat and grilled vegetables)
Valentine’s Day Delight (a special Persian sweet)

5) February is romance month at The Back Bay Hotel in Boston. This year, Stanhope Grille will be dishing out a specially-created customizable three-course prix fixe over three nights to commemorate St. Valentine. Looking to stay the night? The Back Bay Hotel also will offer the “Valentine’s Dinner Package,” including superior overnight accommodations and dinner for-two at Stanhope Grille.

Stanhope Grille’s Valentine’s Day menu includes the following selections:

Amuse Bouche
-choice of-
Crab Cakes, Fennel apple slaw, star anise sauce
Mushroom Strudel, Truffle oil, shaved pecorino
Boston Bibb Salad, Beet chips, champagne vinaigrette
-choice of-
Short Ribs, Braised red cabbage, pomme puree, cider glaze
Sea Bass, Fennel Fontina bread pudding, baby vegetables, golden beet sauce
Statler Chicken, Spice rub chicken, black quinoa, honey citrus pan jus
Panettone Bread Pudding, Crème anglaise, maple walnut gelato
Sorbet Trio, Crispy almond cookies

The three-course prix fixe menu is available from 5:30pm – 10:00pm on Friday, February 11th, Saturday, February 12th and Monday, February 14th.  For reservations, please call 617-532-3827.
Cost: Three-course prix fixe: $75 per person; $90 per person w/ wine pairings.  Valentine’s Dinner Package (includes overnight accommodations and dinner for-two): from $299 per night (excluding taxes & gratuities)

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